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Alcohol Treatment Services

Volume 447: debated on Monday 5 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the scheme to establish alcohol health workers in accident and emergency departments, general practitioner surgeries and some criminal justice settings announced in November 2005 will begin. (72356)

This scheme is an aspect of a series of trailblazer pilot sites to be implemented in 24 dedicated sites. We are in discussion with strategic health authorities as to how they can be delivered and when they will begin.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the recent Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project report, what steps she is taking (a) to address the gap identified between the provision of alcohol treatment and demand and (b) to increase access to and capacity of specialist alcohol treatment services. (70164)

Responsibility to improve services and fund service improvements rests with local primary care trusts.

In order to assist local commissioners the Department published the Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project (ANARP) in November 2005. This is the first comprehensive study of the need for and provision of alcohol services in England.

The Department has launched “Alcohol Misuse Interventions: Guidance on developing a local programme of improvement”, for commissioners developing a local programme of improvement for local alcohol treatment services. We have also sponsored a series of regional conferences to highlight the need for improved focus on alcohol interventions.

A comprehensive review of the evidence base for the effectiveness of alcohol treatment interventions will be published shortly, alongside guidance on “Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers”, which will lay out how best to combine treatment approaches into an effective local alcohol treatment system.